New Frontier Days Founding Pioneers is a world-building strategy game from Arc System Works. Releasing as a Nintendo Switch launch title, they are trying to take advantage of the Switch’s lackluster software lineup. Arc System Works is breaking new ground into this fertile new market.
New Frontier Days Founding Pioneers is a typical resource management game. You have workers, and those workers build buildings and those buildings can commit actions done by the workers processing goods the workers have collected. The game does all things solidly. Workers are easy to identify, especially those that are not working, which is certain death in these games. Workers must always be working. The only downside is that while the mechanics themselves work well, the game is not particularly deep. The workers do not accumulate experience or become skillful at one job or over another. There are male and females settlers, but other than pants and dresses, there is no difference. That’s what makes things difficult and it becomes “you’re not clicking fast enough” game experience. The only times I was able to advance from one age to the next was when I figured out the order I was “supposed” to follow and click as fast as I could. It felt like the game was pushing me forward out of a length of time rather than a sense of purpose.
New Frontier Days Founding Pioneers works well on the Nintendo Switch. This kind of game works best with a touch or click to keep moving rather than using the analog stick to move a cursor. Arc System Works also added nice features like snap-to for the cursor using the d-pad buttons. Using the joy-cons on my TV was fine, but the experience improved greatly when I undocked the Switch and used the touch screen to play. My enjoyment (and my village) improved greatly in this state. The game works well on this device. The most glaring issue with the game is the music. Annoyingly terrible is the nicest thing I can say about it. I had turned it off and played in silence after 10 minutes.
Final thoughts on New Frontier Days Founding Pioneers Nintendo Switch version:
Overall, New Frontier Days Founding Pioneers is a good fit on the Nintendo Switch, but is only a serviceable resource management game. The solid mechanics on the device do not make up for invisible taskmaster pushing you to further your settlement without any carrots – only sticks. I can only recommend this for those that love these kinds of resource management games, not for the random person looking to play something other than The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch.